Lee: Amendment vital to curb wildlife poaching
KUALA LUMPUR: Animal rights activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has called on the government to introduce a more stringent law to curb wildlife poaching.
Lee said poachers were using cruel methods to trap and capture endangered animals, stressed that there was a need for the government to amend the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
He said the amendment should include a mandatory jail term not just for those who were found guilty, but for those who possessed carcasses of wild animals.
“Although the Wildlife Conservation Act, which was passed in 2010 to replace the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, is tough on law breakers, some quarters have claimed that it is not deterrent enough.
“It is learnt that the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) had proposed the amendment to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 so that poachers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“It will provide harsher punishment, while a minimum period of imprisonment will be introduced.”
He urged the authorities to be proactive in their efforts to curb the sale and purchase of endangered animals through effective national and international legislation and enforcement, including the implementation of the latest technology.
“I hope that the enforcement agencies can strengthen their cooperation to cripple poaching syndicates.
“The agencies involved must use the latest technology, including drones, remote sensing and camera trapping.
“Greater public awareness, better law enforcement and stronger political will are needed to not only prevent illegal wildlife trade but also to avoid over-exploitation of natural resources.”
Lee, however, stressed that protecting the wildlife was not the responsibility of the enforcement agencies alone but required collaboration from various parties, including non-governmental organisations, the government, corporate stakeholders and local communities.
“Animal cruelty must not be tolerated and we need to care for all them as they also have the right to live and share this planet.”
He urged Malaysians to play an active role by reporting wildliferelated crimes to the Perhilitan hotline at 1-800-88-5151 (office hours) or the 24-hour Wildlife Crime Hotline at 0193564194.
The New Straits Times reported on Friday that a group of Vietnamese poachers who were detained in Kuala Lipis on July 4 were found to have been gaining lucrative returns by harvesting wildlife parts.
Wildlife parts, including bear teeth and claws, python skins, a serow’s tail, wild boar tooth, as well as parts of tigers and clouded leopards were seized from the premises where the poachers were found.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye